He already has his two front teeth, so the only thing John F. Kennedy coach O’Neil Glenn wanted for Christmas was a win Friday so the Lady Knights can go into the break on a positive note.
JFK did just that, rallying for a 49-46 victory against Francis Lewis in a PSAL Class AA league game in The Bronx.
“This is definitely a nice Christmas gift,” Glenn said. “We have to get healthy. That’s our priority right now.”
With four players injured and another out with the flu, the Lady Knights have been the walking wounded of late and it has translated into an inconsistent start. A week after losing to borough rival Truman for the first time in decades, JFK was desperate for a win against a Francis Lewis side also struggling in the early portions of the season.
But led by senior forward Leshauna Phinazee, who had 13 points and 11 rebounds, and senior point guard Deaisia Acklin, who added 11 points and five rebounds, JFK (7-4, 6-1), ranked No. 12 in New York City by MSG Varsity, took control of the game in the second half after trailing by as many as 10 in the first half.
“I told them to stick with it,” Glenn said. “They knew what they had to do and did it.”
The Lady Knights believe that Friday’s win against the Patriots can serve as the starting point to more consistent basketball after the holiday.
“We have more confidence now and have our acts together,” Phinazee said.
Jazmine Hamlet had 16 points for No. 13 Francis Lewis (4-5, 4-2), which continues to make costly mistakes with the basketball. It plagued them in a loss to St. John the Baptist Sunday in the Francis Lewis Winter Ball and it again haunted the Patriots Friday.
“We handed it to them,” Francis Lewis coach Steve Tsai said. “We played to their level and rushed the ball to much. The turnovers definitely cost us. We ultimately hurt ourselves.”